Finance regulators probe under-fire investment boss Neil Woodford's fund

Mail Online | 5/19/2020 | James Burton Chief City Correspondent For The Daily Mail
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A meltdown at money manager Neil Woodford's flagship fund is being probed by regulators – as his fees since blocking withdrawals surged past £1million.

Mr Woodford's Equity Income fund shut its doors a fortnight ago because it did not have enough ready cash to pay departing savers, sending shockwaves through the City.

Assets - Funds - Anyone - Savings - Fund

He is now selling assets to free up funds and pay off anyone who wants their savings back. The fund is not expected to reopen for weeks.

The Financial Conduct Authority watchdog (FCA) last night said it is formally investigating what went wrong, following criticism of Mr Woodford for ploughing millions of pounds into high-risk, hard to sell assets.

Stock - Picker - Company - Fees - £100

But the stock picker's company is still charging estimated fees of nearly £100,000 per working day to savers with money trapped in the fund.

It has been closed for 11 working days, meaning Mr Woodford's company has picked up more than £1million.

Pressure - Fees - Andrew - Bailey - FCA

The 59-year-old has come under pressure to stop charging the fees, but has refused to act. Andrew Bailey, the FCA's boss, again called for Mr Woodford to consider axing fees.

In a letter to Parliament's Treasury Select Committee, Mr Bailey said: 'There is no requirement on fund managers to reduce or waive entirely their investment management fees during suspensions.

Firm - Gesture - Support - Mr - Woodford

'However, a firm can choose to do so ... as a gesture of support to investors.' Mr Woodford shut his fund after being hit with a rush of investors seeking their cash.

The final straw came when Kent County Council wanted £263million. Mr Woodford was unable to easily sell enough investments to raise the money.

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(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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